Luddite by Owen Hayes

Luddite

By Owen Hayes

It was their word, a shibboleth for all

Craftsmen without voices. In its syllables

Their essence – their peak and trough. Listen:

 

The curling of a tongue starts the name,

First embers of glass in sunset hues.

 

The lead consonant thud in the mouth,

Hammering oak – the pedal of a loom.

 

For a moment, a command for death,

Hands like worn boots and lungs full of splinters.

 

Then ending with conceited tut, of course,

Iron dragon’s last gasp and Beowulf, dead.

 

I heard them wave it like a war banner,

Noble, though it would not save the tanner.

 

Poetry competition winner, ESRC Festival of Social Sciences 2016.
Category: Change – Opportunity or Disruption.

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